Pastor’s Corner | “Family pressures”

I have always enjoyed the term that we use in Chinese “Sam Si” (Heart Matter).  When a person becomes a Christian and is seeking to be baptized, churches often have an interview with the new believer by asking him/her some “Sam Si” questions. The replies to the questions reveal the understanding of this person’s new found faith.

Recently, I have had some “Sam Si” challenges that have come from my extended family.  The weight of these issues are not within my direct control and remain heavy as I feel somewhat useless to impact things while, at the same time, I must continue to function in my daily work and daily responsibilities.  Is this not something that you too can relate to when you feel stretched in different directions that hold different needs and opportunities?  How do you feel when you can see a problem/issue yet know that you cannot complete the task required to make things better?  We all, at times, are pushed to continue moving forward with certain responsibilities while family matters or situations involving friends make us not feel we can continue on.  We would really rather retreat to a place of rest and find a place where no stress or pressure would be coming in our direction.  Yet, such a retreat to calmness seems beyond our grasp.

Brothers & Sisters, this is where our Scripture has value to us all.   Matt.11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”  Physical struggles are obviously real for us but the emotional and spiritual stress points of life’s daily grind can overwhelm our desire to keep pushing forward.  There may even be a desire to totally surrender our focus and efforts when we concentrate on our difficulties.  When our family is involved, there are times when the situation takes us beyond the wisdom of our faith and into dark places.  May God grant us the wisdom, spiritual hunger, and commitment to remember that God and his ways are matters of family in the same way that our blood relatives relate to us.  My current “Sam Si” is heavy for me to carry alone and sometimes makes it hard to remain focused on church related activities that almost seem irrelevant in comparison to daily things.  Thanks are to God that I know that I am never facing problems of any type alone.







弟兄姐妹,这是圣经经句的价值,马太11:28 :「凡劳苦担重担的人,可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。」肉体的挣扎是明显真实的,但每日生活的情绪及属灵压力会拖垮我们继续向前的能力。当我们把注意力只集中在困难上,我们甚至想要完全放弃努力。有时发生在我们亲人身上的事情会超过我们信仰上的智慧,使我们进入黑暗。愿上帝给我们智慧,属灵的渴慕和委身的能力,记得上帝和祂的道路比我们的亲友重要。我目前的「心事」,我一人担负是沉重的,有时会让我难以专注于教会相关活动。但感谢上帝,因我知道,我从不是独自面对任何困难的。

Pastor’s Corner | Be Discerning…

Last week, I listened to a sermon from a very well-known minister in Houston, Texas. I have, over the years, listened to his sermons a few times but can’t say that they particularly “ring my bell” for he appears more as a Motivational Speaker than a Pastor.  Personally, I appreciate stories that assist us to apply Biblical truth but not as the primary content of what is referred to as a “sermon.”  On the day in question, I listened and discovered, within a 25 minute session on television, there were only two Scriptures referenced and virtually no attempt to allow those words to guide the content of his personal direction for his sharing.  My only point is to say that you and I must always be vigilant and discerning of who it is that we allow to bring truth into our hearts and minds.  Not all ministers or messages are created equal and, while in our search for personal spiritual growth/depth, let us seek God’s best teachings for us.  Not all sermons are funny, enjoyable, entertaining, or even well presented by a pastor but God’s Word has life and is eternally valuable to us.  As with eating certain foods, not all vegetables taste good to us but some may be very helpful in developing our growth and maturity.   May we all be patience learners who hunger after the righteousness of God.




Pastor’s Corner | Relationships: What a pain!

As we all know, working with numbers, with computers, with machines, with cars, with food, with construction, with almost anything is easier than working with people! People are exasperating! They are often undependable, self-centered, prideful, unfair, uncaring, insensitive, hateful, unloving, judgmental, prejudiced, deceptive, etc………

So, why are we even bothering to look at relationships today? Why did Jesus care about humans anyway? I sincerely can’t say that I fully understand the answer to that question but it is something that we must recognize as a fact…..He Cared! We know that God created the world and humankind. We know that God had his only begotten son, Jesus, sent to this world as a sacrifice for the sins of all. We know that Jesus suffered greatly for our good while we also know that most of mankind is virtually unappreciative of God’s efforts on our behalf.

FCBC is so much more than our building, our programs, our activities, our music, our worship, etc. FCBC is here to follow the modeling of Christ in identifying our existence and in reaching out in the name of Jesus. If our individual faith is only an academic understanding, our church should close its’ doors. If all we are is structure and policies, we should close our doors. If we are truly disciples, our goal is to spend less time worrying about our comforts and safety as we seek to be with lost people and reach out in the name of Jesus. This means we must learn to “welcome the pain” of working with relationships and that means loving the unlovely and caring about those who know not Jesus. May we find joy in our discomforts, inconveniences, and the criticisms received from others as we seek to show a love beyond understanding. (James Ch. 3)






那为什么今天我们还要谈人和人之间的关系呢?耶稣为什么关心人呢?推心置腹地说,我没有一个完美的答案,但我们必须了解背后的事实- 祂就是在乎人!我们知道上帝创造这个世界和人类。我们知道上帝差祂的独生子来到这世界为我们的罪牺牲祂的生命。我们知道祂为我们受极大的苦,同时我们也知道绝大多数人并不知道感激上帝为我们做的一切。

(雅各书 第三章)

Pastor’s Corner | Confusion is the New Normal

I am so confused! I’ve just read where a 22 year old man attacked his pregnant ex-girlfriend and that resulted in her aborting her child and therefore he has been convicted of “child destruction of the baby?” On the other hand, if an organization or medical doctor assists a woman to abort her child, this is viewed as “removing a problem and not the killing of a living being?” How is one decision considered murder and one is seen as the right of choice? How is it possible for a fetus in one woman to be a baby and something less than that in another? Hmm, consistency doesn’t seem to be a trait of our society, and yet, what is a Christian’s stance?

Why did God bless the creation of the church? What was its’ purpose and focus? Was it just a gathering for believers to hide themselves away from society or find fellowship for their own? Was it a place where God’s select sang songs and memorized the Bible? Or, is it just possible that the church was, and is, a body of bold and courageous people that will not let the confused society around us destroy us? When we look at the Jesus, James, John, Peter, Timothy, Paul, Philip, and other New Testament leaders, what do you see? I don’t see them as people of position or self-adventure but as bold, brave, consistent, hungry, learners who reached out in Christ’s name by doing whatever it takes to be impactful! The leaders of the church didn’t seek comfort or position but desired that their lives had meaning in service to the Father. For their efforts, it sometimes brought them in conflict with their society and there was a price to be paid…

1) John the Baptist: Beheaded Luke: Hanged
2) Jesus, Andrew, Peter: All Crucified
3) Stephen, Philip, Timothy: All stoned to death
4) Barnabas, Thomas: Burned Alive and Tortured

The USA President, who was assassinated in 1963, John F. Kennedy often asked, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?” Instead of accepting a society as hopelessly lost, should we not also be asking ourselves, “Ask not what our church can do for us but what we can for our church?” Let us not fear the values of our surrounding society but ask ourselves how we can engage with that society to show Christ!





上帝为什么祝福教会的设立呢?它的目的及焦点是什么呢?它是否只是信徒聚在一起,躲避外面的社会,只寻找他们自己的团契?或它是一个地方让上帝的选民唱诗歌及背诵圣经?或者教会可能曾是,仍是一群有胆量,有勇气的人,不被围绕我们的伦乱社会所摧毁?当我们看耶稣、雅各、约翰、彼得、提摩太、保罗、腓力及其他的新约领袖们,你看到什么? 我没看到他们是有地位或热爱冒险的人,但他们却有胆量、有勇气、言行一致、灵命饥渴、踊跃学习,凭着基督的名做任何需要做的事。教会领袖不是寻求舒适及地位,而是渴望他们的生命对侍奉天父有意义。他们的努力有时会让他们跟社会有所冲突, 他们付上代价:

  • 施洗约翰:被斩首。 路加:被吊死
  • 耶稣、安德烈、彼得:都被钉十字架
  • 司提反、腓力、提摩太:都被石头打死
  • 巴拿巴、多马:活活被折磨,烧死。